KOREA 2015 #4: Hangul Day, Kimchi Making, Cooking Competition and Performances.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

 Click to Read Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

Hello Everyone, I'm about halfway there in telling you the tales of what I got upto whilst in Korea. Because of these blogposts, the past few days have been filled with bittersweet moments of reminiscing. It is the last day of the year and that means I have had a lot of random moments where I think of the things I got up to, I guess it should come as no surprise that my biggest highlight this year was the trip. I have wanted it for so long and when it finally happened it took me weeks to actually believe it was real. Thank you to everyone who has supported my dreams and those who have encouraged me to keep studying Korean, and you lovely people from all over the world who have read my posts and checked up on me. Thank You.

Now on with it,  Day 4 was one of the most important days.

KOREA 2015 #2: Samulnori Lesson, Arirang Studio and MamaMoo Performance

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Read Day 1 here if you haven't yet!!
Day 2 started off nice and early, woke up at sunrise and because my room was on the 8th floor, I had a nice view of the sun rising and I have to say it was a beautiful sight. Breakfast started at 7 and unfortunately I do not have a single picture of breakfast. It was a western/eastern breakfast spread buffet style and whatever your taste was, there was definitely something for you. Including Kimchi!!


Monday, 26 October 2015

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was in Korea recently and I was there for a week. I did so much in that week and so I have decided to share my experience here. I shall be posting everyday this week so be sure to come back for Day 2 tomorrow!!

I  started off the day at 6am making my way to the train station to start the long journey of navigating the London train system to Heathrow. At this point I was all nerves and I still couldn't believe that the trip was happening. I couldn't sleep the night before and I kept having this fear that something will go wrong!


Sunday, 25 October 2015

 Guys 오랜만이다 ~ Oraenmanida ~ Long time no see!!

I have the best news to share today. It's finally happened y'all!!

I visited Korea this month and I had the best time ever!!! 

I'm still trying to recover from the trip and time and time again I find myself lost in my memories. I miss it so much and I also miss the wonderful people I met on the trip.

I was on the trip with 149 students from 49 countries. We are all students of Sejong Institute around the world and we were in Korea on a cultural experience trip and also to celebrate Hangeul Day.

To kinda celebrate the trip and to share my experience with you guys, I have decided to do what I do best. Write it down!! You can daydream about your trip to Korea or reminisce if you've already been or just be entertained by all we got up to. 

Because we did so much in the week that I was there, I have decided to make it in a diary format and separate it day by day. If everything goes according to plan, I shall upload them everyday starting tomorrow so be sure to come back here everyday for a new post.

Better yet, subscribe to my mailing list which can be found on the right hand side of this page under 'Keep Updated'.

I look forward to sharing my adventures with you all and I'll try and stop the tears from falling as I look back on my time in Korea!!!!

Search for me around the web by clicking the following links:
On KOREAN TWITTER disseminating real time views on dramas & music etc
On FACEBOOK sharing  interesting links
On INSTAGRAM sharing pictures 
and on TUMBLR just doing what people do on there



REFLECTION || Taking a Break from Japanese Learning.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

こんにちは みなさん Kon'nichiwa Minasan ~ Hello everyone

It's been a while, a lot has happened and is still happening. I would never have imagined I will take this long break from the blog. At some point this was my sanctuary, but I let it go and now I'm back.

How have you guys been?

If you remember from this post introduction of a self-taught Japanese geek I picked up Japanese. It was at a time when I had a lot of free time on my hands, and I was looking to spice up my language journey. It has been fun so far but like every extra hobby I picked up it has fallen into the shadows. 

I haven't studied Japanese in months, and what I have studied has somehow gone to the dark corners of my brain. School has become very busy and I have realised I no longer have the time or luxury for my Japanese studies. 

Learning a language requires time and a lot of effort and enthusiasm, and as much as I want to say I have all 3, the reality is I don't! So after much reflection, I have decided it is time to put my Japanese learning on hold until a future time when it can be dusted off the shelf.

This also means that I will concentrate on just Korean making it easier and more effective for me. Learning two languages that are very similar, yet different, at the same time can slow down your pace in both. I learnt that firsthand. So I will spend the next year or two focusing on just Korean and see how far I can go with it.

Hope you stick around that long ;)

So on that note, I have decided to change the name of the blog, Again, to reflect the content I will be writing about and show my focus on Korea.

Any name suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Search for me around the web by clicking the following links:
On KOREAN TWITTER disseminating real time views on dramas & music etc
On FACEBOOK sharing  interesting links
On INSTAGRAM sharing pictures 
and on TUMBLR just doing what people do on there



VIDEO | 2nd Korean Speech Contest

I have uploaded a video talking about my speech at the 2nd Korean Speech Contest in Nigeria. I will write a post about it very soon. Subscribe to my channel below chuseyo :)

Seoul of London: The Seoul Bakery Story.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

It reads "Welcome - Seoul Cafe."

If you stay in this 'quintessential hole in the wall' for too long, you might forget you're in London. Sitting at a little corner in London's Centre point, Seoul Bakery could easily be missed! But, if you're lucky enough to spot it, a step inside will have you  falling in love with it's charm at first sight. 

If there ever was a tourist guide for Korea in London, Seoul Bakery will be right at the hub of the kpop and foodie section! Known for the best kimbap in town, Koreans in London and visiting Koreans— including some Kpop idols along with Londoners have sat at this cramped restaurant surrounded by it's quirky and unique interior.

Sadly due to the expansion going on at Tottenham Court road station, a lot of businesses had to shut down or relocate along with this iconic symbol of a place. I had a chance however to have a chat with it's owner Hoja Sun before it shut down.

Walking down the tiny staircase leading to the basement —otherwise known as Hoho's Kpop shop— lined with notes and scribbles of Fans of Korea, I couldn't help but feel a sense of belonging laced with comfort and a nostalgia for what was about to be lost. I walked into the room and asked for the owner, I was introduced to this warm and welcoming Ahjumma who was nice enough to spare a few minutes of what appeared to be a busy lunchtime. We spoke about everything from food to kpop, indicating's Seoul bakery fusion of Music and Food in equal proportion.

Hoja Sun or Hoho as everyone calls her is from Jejudo island and she moved to London in 1996 from Korea.  She has had about 18 years experience working in the Korean food business in London, and it can be said that she has witnessed the effect of the Hallyu wave on the international community and the Korean food industry here.

Starting off as a waitress at a Korean restaurant she recalls back when 80% of her job was explaining to customers what Bibimbap was—now everyone knows including actors Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield  whom have fallen in love with this comfort food.  There are still the odd people who have no clue about Korean food but it has come a long way.

The concept for what is known as Seoul Bakery started off as a bakery specializing in Korean pastries— hence the name— before it got transformed into a restaurant. At first it was your run-of-the-mill restaurant, with plain walls and seating. But then Hoho wanted to display some Korean memorabilia, and so she put up random things like stickers and socks on the walls, which eventually caught the attention of curious customers, some even asking if they could buy the products. With the increased popularity of kpop, and generally the influx of the Hallyu wave, Korean establishments abroad have seen an increase in their customer base and so did Seoul Bakery. Kpop fans started requesting for specific items from Korea and so Hoho's Kpop shop was born!

At first Hoho bought things that she liked on her trips back to Korea without a preconception as to what her customers may like but lately with popular bands like Big Bang and EXO dominating the music charts, her younger customers seem to be more interested in that.

"When I go to Korea and see something interesting, I think my customer might like this. It doesn't have to be sold, it will be nice as a display".

With Kpop Idol group Shinee and Super Junior's Donghae being customers at the store, with their autograph on the walls, Kpop fans have a special interest in Seoul Bakery. This has made the store an unofficial tourist destination and Kpop fans from other countries make it a point of visiting the famous restaurant. Well for all of you curious as to how the idols ended up at Hoho's Restaurant, It was because of their stylists. The Kpop Idols Korean stylists attended a fashion institute in London which was not far from the store, so they were regular customers and through word of mouth the store became popular which resulted in our favourite stars eating there.

"I wanted my customers to be happy when they visit my store, it's not just about the food. Food is culture, when they love our food, a relationship is sort of built from that and they become regular customers."

A section of what the restaurant looks like. Disclaimer: The entire store is covered in scribbles and memories.

Hoho might well be the coolest ahjumma I have met—not that I've met a lot I had a nice time talking to her and delving into the quriky world she built for herself here in London. We had a bit of a 'fangirling' moment talking about how great Big Bang and 2NE1 were. Hoho told me about the days when she was younger and liked artists such as the legendary singer, Cho Yong Pil, whom might have popped up on the rader of this generations fans, with his 19th Album Hello which debuted at #1, making him take the stage at Korean Music shows like Music Show Champion. She was one of his biggest fans and still isshe told me that she went to his concert about two years ago!

"Although there has been some changes in the music scene over the years, one thing that remains constant is the heart of the fans and their spirit" which makes Hoho understand this generation's Music Fans and relate to them. Owning a Kpop store is not just about business for her, she enjoys music and sharing Korean culture with the people and visitors of London.
"When I go to Korea and find new items relating to the bands my customers like, I get excited and want to show it to them."
Hoho tries to create a bit of diversity in the products that she sells, you could find handmade Korean cards, ceramics, movies, and so much more. So although the Kpop shop caters mostly to the kpop fans, She wants to in a way showcase other aspect of Korean entertainment and products as well.

Well I had a sort of 'last meal' before the store closed and it was soooo good!

Seoul Bakery was opened even before Korea became very popular in London and so I wondered what sort of things people wanted to know about Korea back then. Hoho said the biggest question she got was about North Korea. Then people wanted to know about the language. "People ask me about Kim Yuna, the figure Skater."
"People thought I knew everything about Korea or the popsters. I tried to tell them as much as I knew even if it was just a little".
With Korean food becoming a hot trend in the food industry, I asked Hoho if over the years she has noticed a dish that is most popular amongst the customers?

"Bibimbap I believe is very popular with everyone. However my husband and I have lived in Japan for some time and so we know a lot about Japanese and Chinese people, and what we find most surprising is that  back then not many people liked ddeokbokki, but these days there has been a change in that dynamic. A lot of our customers especially order ddeokbokki a lot. I think this might be as a result of the popularity of Korean dramas. In a lot of theses dramas, the actors eat ddeokbokki which may have contributed to it's increasing popularity."

However Hoho added this 
"Food is culture, if you try a food three times you might end up liking it. You can't say this food is better than this food. The difference is that have you tried it or not!"

This reminded me of my kimchi story which I shared with her and she agreed comparing it to how when she was a child, she didn't like kimchi but she had to eat it and she grew to like it. Apparently it is common to find Koreans who didn't like Kimchi but now can't eat a meal without kimchi.

Notes from some staff and customers, including an Artwork of the shop.

It is a general reaction, everyone misses Seoul Bakery and we can't wait for the store to re-open.
I know we all have the question of whether the store will re-open and if the original concept of the store will be in place or if there will be changes made. Well Hoho is not sure, although she wants to keep it exactly the way it is but some part of her wants to branch out into something new. A new challenge. But all this will depend on the new location and area, then they will focus and decide on what direction the store will take. However recent posts of mouth-watering korean dishes on the Seoul Bakery Facebook with captions of "New Menu" hinting plans of re-opening has already started creating a buzz! One thing that is certain however is that it will be Korean oriented and continue to express the Korean culture.

Have you been to Seoul Bakery, Any interesting stories to share and what will you miss the most about it. Share with us in the comments  :) 

For more pictures, check out my facebook page and also I'm on instagram!

Why do you want to visit Korea?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

안녕하세요 친구들 :)

I was asked this question just now and this was what I had to say. I suppose I have a more structured answer with more reasons but I thought it was interesting to read what I had to say when I was put on the spot!

Introduction of a self-taught Japanese Geek! | Japanese Learning Resources

Sunday, 8 February 2015

こんにちは みなさん Kon'nichiwa Minasan ~ Hello everyone

When I started learning Korean, I wrote a post about how I ended up learning Korean and the resources I was using as a beginner. I am at the starting line with my Japanese studies, and after a lot of research, I have come up with the best tools and resources that will help me effectively learn.

I started learning Japanese as a motivation and a change from my Korean studies. I was stuck in a rut and I needed something to get me excited about learning again. I never realised I will love it so much. Surprisingly, a lot of Japanese students are on exchange at my Uni now and I have met some awesome people amongst them. I love hearing them speak Japanese and the more time I spend with them, the more I am interested in their language and culture. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Hello Everyone,

If this is your first time here,  

Welcome -  어서오세요 [eo-seo-o-se-yo] ようこそ [yōkoso]

and if it isn't

Hi  -  안녕 [an-nyeong]- こんにちは [Kon'nichiwa]

 If you haven't read this post then you probably aren't aware of the fact that I am transforming this blog into a learning log for my Korean and Japanese language studies.  I shall also be writing posts on diffferent topics relating to the countries.

The new blog will be for all other things. I shall be launching that very soon so watch this space.
I am very excited to present to you Meera's Jānaru.

I love exploring and learning new things so I created this space to motivate and equip the language learners and myself and to also inspire others. If you're studying Japanese or Korean we can share study tips and our frustrations.

I have been fortunate to experience some truly fascinating aspects of East Asia and I would love to share it with you guys. 

To learn more about what this space will be like read my About Page.

with love,

You can get in touch with me by email
at mirabobboi@yahoo.com

Or you could message me on one of my Social Media below:



Where there's a will, there's a way.

Saturday, 17 January 2015


It's been a while! I mentioned on twitter that I had an announement, and that if I sort my wifi out it'll be on the blog. After two days of agonizing and trying everything I could think of, it has been sorted and I'm officially "Girl Online!"

I mentioned in a previous post that January is going to be a super busy month for me and it sure has been. I have had the craziest week and I can't remember the last time I was this busy for an entire week!

Anyways things have finally settled down a bit. So here's the announcement..


A Waegukin's love for the Han River

Monday, 5 January 2015

외국인 ~ Waegukin = Foreigner i.e Not Korean.

I guess as any travel worm will tell you, there's a bucket list tucked away somewhere waiting to be explored and ticked off!!

And every Korean enthusiast has a special list of things they dream of doing once they finally make the trip to Korea. Now this list of course has a sub-section of things they want to do that they have seen on TV. One of the things on my list is a visit to the 한강 ~ Hangang River. At first I didn't pay much attention to the Han River, but after seeing it in so many dramas I started wondering as to what the significance and in some cases charm of it was. 

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

That's the phrase for happy new year in Korean. But literally it means 'Please receive a lot of luck in the New Year'. Isn't that just swell. I like this phrase better than the English way of saying happy new year. So dear readers 새해 복 많이 받으세요! ~ Sae-hae bok manhi badeu-seyo!
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